A bulk water supply scheme with a price tag of R1.4-billion is set to relieve water woes on the KwaZulu-Natal north coast.
The project, named the Lower Tugela Water Supply Scheme, is one of the largest bulk water infrastructure projects to be implemented by KZN bulk water supplier, Umgeni Water.
Umgeni Water spokesperson Shami Harichunder on Thursday said the project, funded by Umgeni Water and the Department of Water and Sanitation, will provide a sustainable supply of safe drinking water to numerous areas within drought stricken iLembe District.
“Ballito [which is part of iLembe] is currently under water restrictions as a result of water shortages at Hazelmere Dam. [This is] caused by a severe and prolonged drought. An alternate source of supply to Ballito will result in more water being available at Hazelmere Water Treatment Plant for supply to eThekwini Metro, thereby alleviating the impact of the drought.”
According to Harichunder, the water scheme will be operational from the end of April, delivering an estimated 25 Ml/d through a 29 km pipeline.
“By the end of June 2016, the Lower Thukela Scheme will reach its full design capacity through the provision of 55 Ml/d potable water to an estimated 340 000 people, some of whom will be receiving a reliable supply of safe drinking water for the first time.”
Harichunder added the scheme could be expanded if needed in the future, and that the capacity of delivery for the water scheme could be doubled to 110 Ml/d if needed.
He however cautioned residents to conserve water.
“Umgeni Water is urging all consumers in the Mgeni system supply areas to reduce their water consumption by 15%. If water savings are achieved now, the amount of water in Midmar and Albert Falls dams could last until the next rains come.
“In the Hazelmere and Ixopo systems 50% water restrictions remain in place, and this measure has been effective in managing existing water resources.”